Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Review: Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings
published by Grand Central Publishing in April 2008

A shocking betrayal...her father's murder...and a life-threatening accusation...Heiress Charlotte Court has walked into a waking nightmare-one that sends her running from her wealthy home to anywhere she can hide.

Across the border in Mexico, Charlotte creates a new identity and finds refuge in the battle-torn arms of Navy SEAL Matt Sanders. Fleeing his past, Matt yearns to protect her and replace her pain with pleasure. But Charlotte can't trust anyone, not even someone she's starting to love. She knows she's a target-and out of sight, a soulless killer is zeroing in on his prey...

Genre: romantic suspense, contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Charlotte Court's family, i.e. her father and herself, own Court Industry. However, business is the last thing on her mind as her father is dying of cancer and Charlotte is spending all her time at his bedside. Court Industry vice-president is infuriated that the Court family is going to pass over a deal of 8 billions dollars with the government, especially since he has spent all these years and energy putting back together Court Industry. Thus he comes up with this idea: eliminate the father and daughter. Things don't go according to plan when Charlotte walks in on her father's murder and disappears after discovering that she is wanted for the murder.

Injured, Charlotte flees to San Luis, a little down across Mexico's border. There, she tries to forget her past and surrounds herself with her arts. However, she is not out of danger... and luckily for her, she meets Matt Sanders, ex-SEAL on the road of recovery after having been injured in Afghanistan.

My Opinion: Hmmm, I'm a bit torn over this one. Unlike Jill from Romance Rookie, I thought that the first half of the book, especially those first few chapters, were the best. They might not have been realistic - for eg: Charlotte running away with a wounded shoulder - but they were a great set up and interesting. You definitively get to see how Charlotte's mind works and also, the guts and perseverence in Matt Sanders. Having recently finished SEALed with a Kiss and knowing more about Navy SEALs, I can absolutely see Matt pushing himself to exhaustion in order to put back his life together... Those were some great scenes of the books. I also enjoyed Charlotte and Matt's scenes when they finally met. It's not exactly love at first glance... after all, they've had weeks to develop their relationship, even though it was silent. So to see them come together so quickly once they finally spoke to each other, it felt natural. A bit cheesy, but natural and it was well-done by Ms Jennings.

Another thing that I like is that Ms Jennings took her time to set up the book. I think that most authors would have started the book with Charlotte already settled in Mexico and Matt, next door. Then, we would have gotten their stories as flashbacks. Instead, Ms Jennings shows us what happened for both characters and then, slowly brought them together. She didn't rush the meeting between the H/H and in doing so, it makes their connection stronger to the readers.

Like Holly said, the romance was great and it definitively saved the book. I really like Charlotte and Matt's chemistry... although I can't help but hope Ms Jennings would have develop Matt a bit more, since she focused a great deal on Charlotte... We know he's a SEAL and comes with all the quality that makes us, readers, swoon at SEALs: handsome, strong, autocratic, protective and etc. Ms Jennings drops many interesting facts such as he would have become a math teacher if he wasn't a SEAL and we know he's a strategist... but I find his character a bit contradictory. Someone so smart, but doesn't know about Botox? Gouache? There was one or two instances where I found his reaction a bit weird... ^_^; but I liked him as a hero, just like I did with Charlotte as a heroine. Charlotte might has been weak at certain times, but overall, she's a strong woman and a survivor. I also like how some of her views changed after interacting with Matt...

Unfortunately, everything starts going downhill in the second half of the book, when the villain hires a hitman and when Matt learns that Charlotte is in danger. First, there was the whole pacing being off... The book started off with its own pace and Ms Jennings' writing made it feel slow and calm in a good way. However, suddenly, it was rushed as if half the book wasn't enough to tell the rest of the story. Then, the villain POV switched from the vice-president to the hitman. From then on, we get anymore of the vice-president POV, only the hitman and that's weird... because although it's a job for him, he's not really involved emotionally in the storyline. Sure, he wants to find and kill Charlotte to get his money, but that's his only motivation right? He's not a serial killer or a maniac, he doesn't have deeper motives concerning Charlotte, so why does he get so much POV pages? Finally, the weakest element was the resolution of the whole storyline... it was definitively rushed and anti-climatic. Such a great build-up and the ending was meh or actually, more like "That's it?!?!?!?!"

My Grade: B. This book has good characters and a great romance, but as a romantic suspense, it does fail expectations a little bit.


  1. THANK YOU!!! This is exactly how I felt. And didn't you feel like once they met all the excitement was all over? Too much too soon and that made the last half of the book drag. And the first three chapters? They were probably sent in for her proposal which is why they were so polished compared to the rest of the book. Just sayin'. I liked her writing, but she purged too much info too soon and made it just an okay book where it could have been great. Bummer.

  2. I was looking at this at the library but put it back. I think i will hold off for a while longer

  3. Anne - You're welcome LOL :) You're right... once they met, the book started going a bit flat... It's unfortunate she couldn't follow up with a better storyline...

    Kris - If the book is at your library, then take your time :P